Playle's: Real Photo Postcards, How to Identify and Date Real Photo Vintage Postcards
If the postcard has a stamp box, click on one of stamp box links below. If there is no Quick Reference Real Photo Old Postcard Dating Guide. This chart is not. Valentine postcard dating. Type in your Valentine postcard's serial number here: Associated pages. Home | How this site began | Bibliography | About me | My. Postcard producers printed cards that followed the current trends of postcards. Dates can be approximated by the material and design of a postcard.
Linen Era New printing processes allowed printing on post cards with high rag content that caused a linen -like finish.
These cheap cards allowed the use of gaudy dyes for coloring. Many important events and scenes in history are documented only by these cards. Three-dimensional postcards also appeared in this era. By s, the standard size of cards had grown to 4 x 6 inches. Photochromes are not real photos but rather, printed cards done by a photochrome process. To distinguish a printed postcard from a real photo postcard, examine it under a magnifying glass and you will see the dot pattern that is characteristic of printed cards.
They are difficult to discern from real photos but usually don't have the glossy finish of photographs. The Laura Gilpin cards of Mesa Verde and Silverton are excellent examples of the photogravure process.
One easy way to approximate when a postcard was mailed if the cancellation date is unreadable is to know the changes in rates for mailing postcards. The following table comes from Historical statistics of the United States: The convention decreed that postal cards produced by governments of member nations could have messages on the left half of the address side, effective October 1, The Universal Postal Congress also decreed that after March 1,government-produced cards in the United States could bear messages on the address side.
The next day, the Postmaster-General issued Order No. Printers saved ink during this time by not printing to the edge of the card and leaving a white border around the image, giving the time period its name.
Dating Postcards | Smithsonian Institution Archives
Postcards from the White Border Period also had a description of the image on the message side, which retained the divided back. Most postcards retained the white border, though some were printed to the edge of the card.
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The back remained divided and usually contained printed information about the image. The production of linen postcards eventually gave way to photochrom or photochrome 4 postcards, which first appeared in However, linen cards continued to be produced for over a decade after the advent of photochrom postcards.
Production of the postcards slowed during World War II because of supply shortages, but after the war, they dominated the postcard market. The photochrom postcards are in color, and their images closely resemble photographs. At this time, a dozen or more American printers began to focus on post card production. Still, no message was permitted on the address side. Real Photo Post Cards to Post cards that are actual photographic replications were first produced around They provide a quality black and white photographic record of history in the making and they can usually be enlarged somewhat without losing image quality.
They may or may not have a white border, or a divided back, or other features of post cards, depending on the paper the photographer used. Many of the real photo post cards being done at the current time are reproductions of earlier historic photos. The easiest way to distinguish a real photo postcard is to look at it under a magnifying glass; it will show smooth transitions from one tone to another.
Photo post card paper is currently only available from foreign sources.
Tips for determining when a U.S. postcard was published
Undivided Back Era New U. Writing was still not permitted on the address side.
In this era, private citizens began to take black and white photographs and have them printed on paper with post card backs. If no message was permitted on the address side, the card probably predated March of The address was to be written on the right side; the left side was for writing messages.
dating old postcards
Many millions of cards were published in this era -- it was the golden age of postcards. Up to this point, most postcards were printed in Germany, which was far ahead of the United States in the use of lithographic processes. White Border Era Most post cards produced in the United States were printed during this period.